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Old 10-10-2016, 19:40   #1
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Question o out buying a Cat

So my wife and I are in the process of buying a catamaran. This is our first purchase through a broker and something is bothering us that we would love feedback on.
Went out on the sea trial and survey, hauled out the boat etc. However...our Captain was the owner but that was never disclosed to us, just that he was Captain "so and so" , the surveyor was recommended by the broker and he seemed genuine and somewhat thorough (although I had to get him to check the Nav lights that he forgot) so my question is....is there or should there be a concern with the owner being present, playing the role of Captain and everyone being hush hush about him being the owner.
Any input is great, there's a lot of money involved.
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Old 10-10-2016, 19:48   #2
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

That's not unusual at all to have the owner captain the ship except that they didn't inform you! Could that have been oversight?
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Old 10-10-2016, 19:52   #3
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

I would hope so, but when we arrived there was a gentlemen there on the dock and I asked if he was the owner, he replied "no, I'm a friend" not saying a word about the guy 20 feet away being the owner. The broker introduced him as simply the captain. Weirded me out when I started thinking about it more.
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Old 10-10-2016, 19:55   #4
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

The boat seems pretty solid for a 2001, however due to the wind we did not put the main all the way up or the jib full out. Just freaking out a bit as this is definitely the most expensive boat we have considered purchasing.
2001 island spirit 37 for reference.
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Old 10-10-2016, 20:18   #5
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

It sounds like that may NOT be the only thing disclosed....usually your intuition is correct.

if you really like the deal i would disclose all your intuition to the broker, the owner, and the surveyor and see what falls out, maybe process the thought of getting another surveyor.
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Old 10-10-2016, 20:25   #6
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

Thank you for your input, I had considered hiring another surveyor for peace of mind. I think what bothers me most is I could have asked the "captain" about his thoughts on the boat etc and really looked like a DA.
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Old 12-10-2016, 19:19   #7
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

Get the sails out at the dock when it's calm if you decide to go through with the purchase.


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Old 12-10-2016, 19:49   #8
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

I would find out if the surveyor is actually accredited with sams or nams, you can check their website, and has error and omissions insurance. If not I would ask for a refund and find another surveyor. Reputable brokers may give you a list of surveyors but if they offer just one or two I'd run.
Some owners don't want to deal with people and answer a bunch of questions. Sometimes its why they use a broker rather than deal w it themselves

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Old 12-10-2016, 19:58   #9
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

I wouldn't worry about it.
  • He might worry it would make you uncomfortable. Many brokers recommend the owner is NOT there, just like selling a house.
  • He wanted you to rely on what the surveyor said and not be held to any off-the-cuff statements.
  • He may have wanted to avoid certain broad questions, like "is there ANYTHING wrong with this boat."
Assuming the surveyor is upright, nothing had been hidden that would have been disclosed with a paid captain.


And yes, there will be problems with the boat, disclosed and undisclosed. It is not a new boat, most or all of these problems are purely age related, and are just part of the condition of the boat. Don't take the attitude that when you find XYZ problem in a few weeks that it was "undisclosed" information. Unless it was something unusual for the age and not easy to find in a survey, it's yours now. You were present at the sea trial and should have tested all of the equipment.
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Old 13-10-2016, 04:14   #10
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

I would be more worried about a surveyor recommended by the broker. Last thing a broker wants is survey problems, so a surveyor who finds hidden defects and kills sales will not be recommended for long.


Most likely as mentioned, they didn't want you to feel uncomfortable so they told the owner not to say anything unless asked.


In the end I fail to see how not mentioning he's the owner could be something nefarious.
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Old 13-10-2016, 05:29   #11
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

Both the owner and the surveyor who works with the broker have a vested interest in the deal going smoothly.

They do not have any motivation to protect your interests.

You decide.
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Old 13-10-2016, 16:15   #12
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

I greatly appreciate all the feedback, we are meeting again tomorrow armed with a bit more knowledge. Hopefully it all goes smoothly.
Thanks again!
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Old 13-10-2016, 16:23   #13
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Re: Question o out buying a Cat

No problem with the owner. I'd start suspecting a broker who doesn't tell you it is though. It can often be a good chance to ask questions, owner's are often prone to talking too much!
I have had surveyors selected form a list the broker gave me. Never just one name though.


Sails: I agree it's good to take a close look at the sails. It's often something after a long day of surveying and testing that don't get a close look. A sail can look decent on a quick sail to test the boat, but one needs to look at chafe, age, stitching worn? etc. Sails are the most expensive thing on your boat often. A good mainsail can cost as much as an engine.
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